Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Deu 31:19
"Now write down for yourselves this song and teach it to the
Israelites and have them sing it, so that it may be a witness for me against
them" (Deu 31:19).
"It is interesting to see, as we read through the Bible, how
many parts of scripture we instantly recognize as having learnt because we have
heard them in song. It is not that we have purposely gone out to memorize parts
of the word of God, yet because so much of it has been set to music, we remember
what it says. It was for this reason, I believe, that Moses gave Israel this
message in a song. God told him, 'Now write down for yourselves this song and
teach it to the Israelites and make them sing it, so that it may be a witness
for me against them' (Deu 31:19). So Moses sung the song to all Israel. The
music, the rhythm, the rhyme and the words all help us to remember it. And so
this was a song that would have been remembered by the Israelites for a long
time to come.
"This particular song was much more than just a nice piece of
music. It warned Israel of the choice they would make about serving God in the
future. So Moses said, 'Take to heart all the words that I have solemnly
declared to you today... they are not just idle words for you -- they are your
"The lesson is for us to do the same. Let's get the word of
God into our minds and hearts by music or whatever means we can. Let's take its
message to heart and live by what we have learned" (Robert Prins).
Reading 2 - Isa 3:16-24
"The LORD says, 'The women of Zion are haughty, walking along
with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing
steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles' " (Isa 3:16).
These words (vv 16-24) were spoken against the women of
Israel, who made a vain and wanton display of the wealth (beauty, culture,
fashion, display, ostentation) their husbands had wickedly acquired. (Luxury had
greatly increased in the days of Uzziah: 2Ch 26:5,15.) Their dressiness was not
necessarily wicked in itself, but it was wrong when unaccompanied by the inner
adorning, of which the apostles wrote (1Ti 2:9; 1Pe 3:3).
"That superb Bible scholar William Kay catalogues seven
separate items mentioned here as having direct connection with the garments of
the High Priest, the best-dressed man in Israel. Now women of the temple, who
originally had been glad to forego their personal vanities (Exo 38:8), sought to
outdo in appearance the most exalted man in the nation. Accordingly, Isaiah
applies to these 'haughty' (v 16) women the very word which he has already used
three times about the 'loftiness of man' (Isa 2:11,15,17)" (Harry Whittaker,
For a time, these women in Israel continued on their way
completely indifferent to the requirements of the law or the appeal of the
prophets. They preferred to please themselves. They stood before their mirrors
and admired the beauty that they saw reflected therein, but they did not see the
hidden ugliness of the heart: the spirit of rebellion that made Yahweh sad and
The day came, however, when they learned to regret the folly
of their actions. It was the day of judgment, and they were held accountable for
the manner in which they had defied the requirements of Yahweh, and had
influenced others to do likewise.
Reading 3 - Col 1:10
"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of
the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God" (Col 1:10).
A LIFE WORTHY OF THE LORD: "You have your limits. You have
more mental capacity than some, and less than others. You have more physical
capacity than some, and less than others. This is true of everyone except the
single one at the top and at the bottom. Much can be done in both categories by
exercise, but still there are limits -- and all are different. It is not
important. At his very best and highest, man is still nothing. At worst and
lowest, he is still something. What counts eternally is how you use what you
have been given, in mental, physical, and circumstantial opportunity. This is
your personal stewardship, be it great or small. You will be judged upon it. God
requires your most and best, within your limits. This is what love will be eager
and anxious to give and still wish it could give more. Do you have this love and
zeal for divine service that makes the difference between life and death? It
comes with long study and meditation, and prayer. It's not a secret or special
gift that some just happen to have. It's something all are commanded to develop,
and freely shown how. It is spiritual-mindedness, which is life and peace; and
there can be neither life nor peace without it. It is not a matter of sudden and
shallow emotional excitement, like orthodox 'conversion.' It is a deep, steady,
consistent learning and growing and transforming, and becoming closer and closer
to the Divine Perfection" (GV Growcott).
BEARING FRUIT IN EVERY GOOD WORK: "Don't drift. Don't play.
Make all your time sensible and constructive and useful. Play is for children.
It is essential for them. Your childhood is over. Grow up. There is plenty of
exercise and enjoyment and relaxation in practical and effective work. Eschew
the fleshly illusion that time must be wasted to be enjoyed. That's stupid. We
have no justification or excuse for wasting God's valuable time in childplay --
for ALL our time is His, for His purpose. We have solemnly agreed to this. So be
honest. Live up to it. You know there is no satisfying peace or joy in slipping
back into the vacuous and juvenile play of infancy. Grow up! Press on! Keep your
eye on the glorious goal. You have a brief, once-only opportunity to secure
eternity. Don't bungle it. Disneyland is for immature and empty minds. It's a
dressed up skeleton: a grinning corpse. Look beyond the glitter and tinsel to
the cold and dead bones beneath. It's the whole mad world in microcosm: shun it
as the plague" (GV Growcott).